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1. WO2020136250 - A COOLING APPLIANCE HAVING A CHAMBER WHEREIN THE FOOD ITEMS ARE KEPT FRESH

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Description

Title of Invention 0001   0002   0003   0004   0005   0006   0007   0008   0009   0010   0011   0012   0013   0014   0015   0016   0017   0018   0019   0020   0021   0022   0023   0024   0025   0026   0027  

Claims

0001   0002   0003   0004   0005   0006   0007  

Drawings

1   2   3  

Description

Title of Invention : A COOLING APPLIANCE HAVING A CHAMBER WHEREIN THE FOOD ITEMS ARE KEPT FRESH

[0001]
The present invention relates to a cooling appliance comprising a chamber having electromagnetic radiation means via which the food items are identified and are kept fresh
[0002]
In cooling appliances, the food items, especially raw food items such as meat, fruit and vegetables require different storage conditions. The ideal temperature and humidity levels are different for fruits, vegetables and meat products. Additionally, the vegetables and the fruits are needed to be radiated by electromagnetic radiation, preferably in the range of visible light, so as to preserve their freshness. Meat products, on the other hand, is not directly affected by electromagnetic radiation in visible spectrum but are prone to deterioration over a relatively short time span. Therefore, it is vital to sterilize the meat products superficially via use of electromagnetic radiation having sterilizing properties. Although the special storage chambers are known in the state of the art, the cooling appliances having such storage chambers does not possess the ability to identify the food item stored inside the said chambers and act according to the type of food item stored therein.
[0003]
A prior art publication in the technical field of the present invention may be referred to as US2007104841A1 among others, the document disclosing a household appliance comprising a container wherein the vegetables are kept fresh.
[0004]
An objective of the present invention is to provide a cooling appliance comprising a chamber isolated from the rest of the remaining space of a compartment of the cooling appliance wherein the food items such as vegetable, fruit and meat are placed and wherein the type of food items are identified and freshness of the said food items are preserved via illumination of electromagnetic radiation, varying according to the type of food items.
[0005]
The cooling appliance realized in order to attain the aim of the present invention, explicated in the first claim and the respective claims thereof, comprises a body and at least a compartment inside the body and a door providing access inside the compartment. The door is pivotable attached onto the body via at least a hinge. A chamber is provided inside the compartment into which the food items to be cooled are placed. The chamber is separated from the rest of the compartment by walls and a chamber door. The chamber comprises a detection module wherein the detection module comprises a receiver and a transmitter. The transmitter generates an electromagnetic radiation between 780 – 2500nm. The reflected electromagnetic radiation coming back from the surface of the food items inside the chamber reaches the receiver. The intensity of reflection with respect to different wavelengths is transmitted to the control unit via the receiver. The control unit compares the transmitted reflection intensities with the values recorded by the manufacturer and decides on the type of the food items inside the chamber. Afterwards, the control unit adjust the lightning of the chamber according to the type of food items stored inside the chamber. Therefore, vegetables and fruits are kept fresh for a longer time period.
[0006]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the control unit upon determining that the food items stored inside the chamber are vegetables or fruits activates a first light source and a second light source wherein the wavelength of the electromagnetic radiations are 635-730nm and 450-490nm respectively. The said wavelengths nourish the vegetables and the fruits therefore prolonging their storage life time inside the chamber.
[0007]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the control unit upon determining that the food items stored inside the chamber are meat products, the control unit activates a third light source wherein the wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation is 400-410nm. The said wavelength provides photodynamic inactivation of meat products. The photosensitizers such as porphyrin compounds present in the meat products are excited in the presence of the electromagnetic radiation between 400-410nm reacting with oxygen forming reactive oxygen species such as superoxide ions, hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide which reacts with the DNA of the bacteria resulting in bacterial extermination. Therefore the meat products are sterilized which prolongs their storage life time inside the chamber.
[0008]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the chamber is provided with a temperature sensor and a humidity sensor. The humidity sensor measures the humidity of the air inside the chamber and transmits the data to the control unit. Likewise, the temperature sensor measures the temperature of the air inside the chamber and transmits the data to the control unit.
[0009]
In another embodiment of the present invention, a vent, preferably at the rear surface of the chamber, is provided so as to adjust the internal temperature of the chamber. The control unit, according to the temperature value provided by the temperature sensor, activates the vent, should the temperature exceed the predetermined value. The control unit activates the vent, allowing the cold air coming from the cold air duct to enter into the chamber. The control unit closes the vent when and if the predetermined temperature is reached. Therefore, the temperature inside the chamber is controlled precisely prolonging the lifetime of the food items.
[0010]
In another embodiment of the present invention, a spraying means, inside the chamber, is provided so as to adjust the internal humidity of the chamber. The control unit, according to the humidity value provided by the humidity sensor activates the spraying means, should the humidity value falls below the predetermined value. The control unit activates the spraying means, allowing the water in the form of a mist to be sprayed onto the food items. Therefore, the humidity inside the chamber is controlled precisely prolonging the lifetime of the food items
[0011]
In another embodiment of the present invention, a display is placed on the outer surface of the cooling appliance. Therefore the user is informed of the atmospheric conditions inside the chamber.
[0012]
By means of the present invention, real time freshness control of the food items placed inside the chamber is achieved by utilization of the transmitter, transmitting electromagnetic radiation and the receiver, receiving the reflection of the electromagnetic radiation coming back from the food item and the control unit comparing the reflection intensity with the predetermined values and wherein the control unit controls the lightning, temperature and humidity values of the enclosed volume inside the chamber so as to keep food items fresh according to the said reflection intensity.
[0013]
The drawings are not meant to delimit the scope of protection as identified in the claims nor should they be referred to alone in an effort to interpret the scope identified in the claims without recourse to the technical disclosure in the description of the present invention.
[0014]
Figure 1 – is a front view of the cooling appliance
[0015]
Figure 2 – is the side view along A-A line of Figure-1
[0016]
Figure 3 – is an enlarged view of B-B line of Figure-2
[0017]
The following numerals are assigned to different parts demonstrated in the drawings and referred to in the present detailed description of the invention:
  1. Cooling appliance
  2. Body
  3. Compartment
  4. Door
  5. Chamber
  6. Chamber door
  7. Detection module
  8. Receiver
  9. Transmitter
  10. Control unit
  11. First light source
  12. Second light source
  13. Third light source
  14. Humidity sensor
  15. Temperature sensor
  16. Vent
  17. Spraying unit
  18. Display
[0018]
The present invention relates to a cooling appliance (1) comprising: a body (2), a compartment (3) inside the body (2), a door (4) allowing access into the compartment (3), a chamber (5) inside the compartment (3) wherein the food items to be cooled are placed and wherein the chamber (5) is separated from the remaining space of the compartment (3) by walls and a chamber door (6) having an open position providing access inside the chamber (5) and a closed position blocking access inside the chamber (5).
[0019]
The present invention relates to a cooling appliance (1) further comprising: a detection module (7) comprising a receiver (8) and a transmitter (9) wherein the transmitter (9) generates an electromagnetic radiation in the closed position of the chamber door (6) having a wavelength in the range of 780 – 2500 nm and wherein the receiver (8) receives and transmits the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation reflected from the food items to a control unit (10) according to which the control unit (10) determines the type of food item and adjusts lightning of the chamber (5). The user opens the chamber door (6) to load the chamber (5) with the food items. As the user closes the chamber door (6), the control unit (10) becomes activated and in turn activates the detection module (7). The detection module (7) mainly comprises of the receiver (8) and the transmitter (9). The transmitter (9) transmits electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength in between 780 – 2500 nm, meaning that the electromagnetic radiation is in the near infrared region (NIR). The absorption of electromagnetic radiation in near infrared region varies according to type of food item, water and fat content. Therefore, the intensity of the reflection and also the reflection of different wavelengths vary according to the type of food item. The receiver (8) receives the reflected electromagnetic radiation coming back from the surface of the food items and transmits the intensity data with respect to different wavelengths to the control unit (10). The control unit (10) compares the intensity and the absorption of the specific wavelengths inside the 780 – 2500 nm range and compares this value with the predetermined values recorded in the memory of the control unit (10). The control unit, then identifies the food items stored inside the chamber (5). After determination of the type of the food items stored inside the chamber (6), the control unit (10) adjust the lightning of the chamber (5) accordingly, therefore prolonging the storage time of the food items inside the chamber (5).
[0020]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the control unit (10), upon determining the food items to be vegetables or fruits, activates a first light source (11) and a second light source (12) radiating the chamber (5) with electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength between 635-730nm and 450-490nm respectively. Said wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation helps to keep nutritional values of the fruits and vegetables and meanwhile prolonging their storage time inside the cooling appliance (1).
[0021]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the control unit (10), upon determining the food items to be meat, activates a third light source (13) radiating the chamber (5) with electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength between 400-410nm. Each raw food material responds differently to the electromagnetic radiation. Should the control unit (10) detects presence of the meat as the food item inside the chamber (5), the control unit (10) activates the third light source (13) radiating between 400-410nm wherein the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation is high compared to the first light source (11) and the second light source (12). Electromagnetic radiation having the wavelength of 400-410nm activates the porphyrin compounds inside the meat products and a chemical reaction with oxygen occurs which in turn produces reactive oxygen species such as superoxide ions, hydroxyl radicals and, hydrogen peroxide reacting with DNA and protein structure of bacteria. Therefore the bacteria are eliminated. The intensity along with the wavelength of the third light source (13) the surface of the meat product is sterilized which helps prolong the storage life.
[0022]
In another embodiment of the present invention, a humidity sensor (14) and a temperature sensor (15) to detect humidity and the temperature values of the chamber (5) and transmitting the said values to the control unit (10). The humidity sensor (14) and the temperature sensor (15) are in connection with the control unit (10) and transmits real time temperature and humidity values to the control unit (10). Therefore, the atmospheric conditions inside the chamber (5) is closely followed by the control unit (10).
[0023]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the control unit (10) opens a vent (16) provided at the rear of the chamber (5) providing cold air into the chamber (5) should the temperature exceeds a level predetermined by the manufacturer or closes the vent (16) should the temperature falls below a level predetermined by the manufacture. The vent (16) is provided at the rear surface of the chamber (5) and is activated via a motor if the temperature exceeds the level predetermined for the food item stored inside the chamber (5). The vent (16) is connected to cold air supply duct of the cooling appliance (1). Different food items have varying ideal storage temperatures. Upon determination of the food items stored inside the chamber by the control unit (10), the control unit (10) adjust the temperature value most suitable for the food items.
[0024]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the control unit (10) activates a spraying unit (17) provided inside the chamber (5) to spray water should the humidity level falls below a level predetermined by the manufacturer. The spraying unit (17) is placed onto the ceiling or to the side walls of the chamber (5). The control unit (10) activates the spraying unit (17) if the humidity inside the chamber (5) falls below a level predetermined by the manufacturer. By this means the storage life of the food items, especially fruit and vegetables, is prolonged.
[0025]
In another embodiment of the present invention, a display (18) is provided on the door (4) wherein the display (18) informs the user on the status of the food items stored inside the chamber (5). The user is notified of the time the food item is placed inside the chamber (5). The display (18) provides the ability to check the freshness status of the food items stored inside the chamber (5) without being have to open the door (4) thereby decreasing the energy consumption of the cooling appliance (1). Another advantageous effect of using the display (18) is that the perceived quality of the cooling appliance (1) is improved.
[0026]
In another embodiment of the present invention, plurality of chambers (5) are placed adjacent to each other inside the cooling appliance (1). Therefore, the user will be able to divide the food items having different storage temperature and humidity requirements.
[0027]
In the cooling appliance (1) of the present invention, the chamber (5), wherein the food items are placed, is equipped with the detection module (7) comprising the transmitter (9) and the receiver (8) wherein the transmitter (9) emits electromagnetic radiation in near infrared region having the wavelength range of 780 – 2500 nm and the receiver (8) that is configured to detect the electromagnetic radiation reflected back from the food items and transmit the intensity of the said reflection to the control unit (10) which in turn decides the type of the food item and adjusts lightning, humidity and the temperature of the chamber (5) so as to prolong the lifetime of the said food items.

Claims

[Claim 0001]
A cooling appliance (1) comprising: a body (2), a compartment (3) inside the body (2), a door (4) allowing access into the compartment (3), a chamber (5) inside the compartment (3) wherein the food items to be cooled are placed and wherein the chamber (5) is separated from the remaining space of the compartment (3) by walls and a chamber door (6) having an open position providing access inside the chamber (5) and a closed position blocking access inside the chamber (5), characterized by a detection module (7) comprising a receiver (8) and a transmitter (9) wherein the transmitter (9) generates an electromagnetic radiation in the closed position of the chamber door (6) having a wavelength in the range of 780 – 2500 nm and wherein the receiver (8) receives and transmits the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation reflected from the food items to a control unit (10) according to which the control unit (10) determines the type of food item and adjusts lightning of the chamber (5).
[Claim 0002]
A cooling appliance according to claim 1, characterized in that the control unit (10) upon determining the food items to be vegetables or fruits activates a first light source (11) and a second light source (12) radiating the chamber (5) with electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength between 635-730nm and 450-490nm respectively.
[Claim 0003]
A cooling appliance according to claim 1, characterized in that the control unit (10) upon determining the food items to be meat activates a third light source (13) radiating the chamber (5) with electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength between 400-410nm.
[Claim 0004]
A cooling appliance according to any of the preceding claims, characterized by a humidity sensor (14) and a temperature sensor (15) inside the chamber (5) detecting humidity and the temperature values of the chamber (5) and transmitting the said values to the control unit (10).
[Claim 0005]
A cooling appliance according to claim 4, characterized in that the control unit (10) opens a vent (16) provided at the rear of the chamber (5) providing cold air into the chamber (5) should the temperature exceeds a level predetermined by the manufacturer or closes the vent (16) should the temperature falls below a level predetermined by the manufacturer.
[Claim 0006]
A cooling appliance according to claim 4 or 5, characterized in that the control unit (10) activates a spraying unit (17) provided inside the chamber (5) to spray water should the humidity level falls below a level predetermined by the manufacturer.
[Claim 0007]
A cooling appliance according to any of the preceding claims, characterized by a display (18) provided on the door (4) wherein the display (18) informs the user on the status of the food items stored inside the chamber (5).

Drawings

[ Fig. 1]

[ Fig. 2]

[ Fig. 3]